Using the internet to adapt distribution channels is not limited to fresh produce or cosmetics; some Chinese sellers are capitalizing on the anonymity of the internet to distribute nitrous oxide.

Chinese media reported Monday that nitrous oxide dealers look to connect with buyers via posts on Tieba, Baidu’s bulletin board system (BBS) where users post questions or topics for online discussion, by leaving their WeChat IDs. In an investigation by one media outlet, a seller going by “CP” sold 300 laughing gas canisters for RMB 630 (around $93) on his WeChat stores. As of May 5, 77 orders of Kayser brand cream chargers had been sold, according to the report.

In a Weibo announcement released later in the day, Baidu said it cleared out related posts. The search engine giant added that it is currently gathering information to assist the police. A Baidu spokeswoman told TechNode that the company is still investigating the situation and were not yet releasing details to the public. WeChat owner Tencent did not respond to requests for comment.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen